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Andy Haste joins Wonga as Chairman
The Board of Wonga is pleased to announce the appointment of Andy Haste as Chairman of the Group. He will join Wonga with immediate effect.
Andy has considerable experience in the financial services industry, including many years spent in the consumer credit sector in Europe and the US. He was Chief Executive Officer of RSA, the FTSE 100 insurer, from 2003 to 2011, and previously held the same position at AXA Sun Life. He is also the Senior Independent Director of ITV and Senior Independent Deputy Chairman of Lloyd’s.
Andy Haste said: “I am pleased to be joining Wonga at a very important time for the Group and the industry. This is a sector that is necessarily undergoing significant change and Wonga will change with it in order to have a sustainable future. My challenge is to lead that process of change at Wonga to ensure that the business operates responsibly while providing an effective and reliable service for our customers. I have a clear mandate from the shareholders in Wonga to lead that process, both in the UK and across our international operations.”
Commenting on behalf of Wonga’s shareholders, Laurel Bowden, Board Member and Partner at Greylock, one of Wonga's leading investors, said: “We offer Andy a warm welcome to the Board. After a thorough search he was the outstanding choice and his appointment marks a significant step in the changes we are making to the Group. We share a commitment to be the most responsible provider of short term credit. Andy has an exceptional track record and brings with him a wealth of relevant experience.”
In taking up his new role, Andy has set out six key priorities:
1. To conduct a review of Wonga’s customer base and products to ensure that the Group is lending only to customers who can reasonably afford to repay their loans.
2. To ensure all lending is conducted in a responsible and transparent manner and delivers the best outcomes for our customers. This will lead to a tightening of Wonga’s lending criteria.
3. To address the total cost of credit and ensure even greater transparency in Wonga’s products.
4. To re-present Wonga to the public, especially through its advertising, in a way that accesses the right type of customer and reduces the risk of inadvertently attracting the very young or vulnerable.
5. To build a sustainable business model with superior technology and operating processes that deliver effectively and put customers and good governance at the heart of everything Wonga does.
6. To engage positively with Wonga’s regulators and other key stakeholders in all of its markets to ensure that the business is operated transparently, with the right systems and controls to protect those individuals for whom Wonga recognises its products are not appropriate.
Andy Haste added: “Our goal is to deliver the original vision for Wonga - to provide short-term lending to the right customers in a responsible and transparent way. We will become a more customer focused, and inevitably in the near term, a smaller and less profitable business. However, we are determined to make the necessary changes and serve our customers in the right way, to repair our reputation and become a business with a long-term future and an accepted place in the financial services industry.”
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